Half of the money will be going into the development of the solid state batteries.
Rumors about Dyson’s plan to engineer an electric vehicle have been swirling around the Internet for quite some time and these were fueled in April 2016 by UK's National Infrastructure Delivery Plan decision to grant the company with funding to develop a new EV. Now, it’s officially official as Sir James Dyson has pledged to invest £2 billion (almost $2.7B) to have a fully electric vehicle available by 2020.
More than 400 people are already working on the ambitious project and that number is set to grow considerably in the near future as Dyson is “recruiting aggressively.” Little else is known about the EV, but apparently it has been under development for approximately two and a half years and half of the money is being put to good use into the development of the batteries, which will be of the solid state type.
When it will eventually arrive, it’s going to be a dream come true for Dyson as the vacuum cleaner manufacturer has had an EV at the back of its mind for close to two decades. Rather than teaming up with an existing automaker to speed up the process, Dyson is riding solo on this project as the company’s founder believes current car manufacturers don’t have anything useful they could bring to the table.
In an interview with Auto Express, Sir James Dyson promised the team is trying to come up with something radical with a design that will stand out from the current crop of EVs: “There’s no point in doing one that looks like everyone else’s.” He went on to specify it won’t be a sports car, but at the same time it’s not going to be an affordable EV like the Nissan Leaf.
The company still has a long way to go as it currently doesn’t have a prototype, nor does it know where it will actually build the car. The goal is to assemble the EV at the same location where the batteries are going to be manufactured as that would be the smartest decision from a logistical point of view.
To make it happen, Dyson has already hired several high-ranked Aston Martin employees in the last year and a half, such as ex product development boss Ian Minards. BMW board member Ian Robertson could also join the growing team, though nothing is set in stone at this point. He’s already with Dyson by occupying a board position within the company, but his role doesn’t have anything to do with the EV project, yet.
The EV pinned for a 2020 launch is only the tip of the iceberg as a lineup of electric cars is being analyzed since Dyson believes it can ultimately be more profitable than the firm’s other products.